On the heels of the upcoming presidential inauguration, Eliot Dudik’s new series Paradise Road debuts at The Southern in a two-part exhibition Paradise Road | Paradise Out-Front.
There are roughly 196 Paradise Roads in the continental United States; Eliot Dudik has photographed over 90 to date. In describing his motivation for the project, Dudik expressed he wanted to “drive to paradise and see what was there,” seeing this project as a means to “take the temperature of the country.” After all, what better way to understand the state of America than by surveying its paradises?
Eliot Dudik is a photographic artist, educator, and bookmaker exploring the connection between culture, memory, landscape, history, and politics. His first monograph, ROAD ENDS IN WATER, was published in 2010. In 2012, Dudik was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch and one of Oxford American Magazine’s 100 New Superstars of Southern Art. He was awarded the PhotoNOLA Review Prize in 2014 for his Broken Land and Still Lives portfolio, resulting in a book publication and solo exhibition. Broken Land was most recently published as a feature in the July/August 2015 issue of Smithsonian Magazine. FLASH FORWARD 2015 chose the series for publication and exhibition in Toronto and Boston. Dudik taught photography at the University of South Carolina from 2011 to 2014 before founding the photography program within the Department of Art and Art History at the College of William & Mary where he is currently teaching and directing the Andrews Gallery at the college. Paradise Road is the latest exploration of culture, memory, landscape, history, and politics for the artist.
Eliot Dudik curated a group of thirteen photographers tasked to respond with their own ideas of ‘paradise’ for Paradise Out-Front. This second part of the overall exhibition will feature unorthodox and personal photographic works from Ben Alper, Ian van Coller, Mark Dorf, Matt Eich, Frances Jakubek, Thalassa Raasch, Jared Ragland, Justin James Reed, Anastasia Samoylova, Bryan Schutmaat, Aline Smithson, Katherine Squier, and Susan Worsham.
Paradise Out-Front Artists
Ben Alper is an artist based in Durham, North Carolina. He received a BFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Alper’s work has been shown widely, including in group exhibitions at the NADA Art Fair in Miami, Higher Pictures in New York, Le Dictateur Gallery in Milan, Italy, Schneider Gallery in Chicago and S1 Gallery in Portland. Additionally, his work has been published in Time Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, Conveyor Magazine, The California Sunday Magazine and and Dear, Dave. Alper has also published three books – Adrift and A Series of Occurrences were both released under his imprint Flat Space Books. He is also the co-founder and co-facilitator of A New Nothing, an online project space dedicated to hosting visual conversations between artists.
Ian van Coller was born in 1970, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and grew up in the country during a time of great political turmoil. These formative years became integral to the subject matter van Coller has pursued throughout his artistic career. His work has addressed complex cultural issues of both the apartheid and post-apartheid eras, especially with regards to cultural identity in the face of globalization, and the economic realities of every day life. Most recently his work has focused on environmental issues. Van Coller received a National Diploma in Photography from Technikon Natal in Durban, and in 1992 he moved to the United States to pursue his studies where he received a BFA (photography) from Arizona State University, and an MFA (photography) from The University of New Mexico. He currently lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife, children, two dogs and is an Associate Professor of Photography at Montana State University. His work has been widely exhibited in the United States and South Africa, and is included in many significant museum collections including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Getty Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The South African National Gallery (IZIKO). Van Coller is represented by Schneider Gallery in Chicago and Passages Bookstore in Portland, Oregon. He is a member of the Piece of Cake photography collective.
Employing a mix of photography and digital media, Mark Dorf’s work explores the post-analogue experience – society’s interactions with the digital world and its relationship to our natural origins. Dorf scrutinizes and examines the influence of the information age through the combination of photography and digital media, looking at, in his most recent works how we encounter, translate, and understand our surroundings through the filter of science and technology. He seeks to understand our curious habitation of the 21st century world through the juxtaposition of nature and the digital domain. Dorf has exhibited internationally including at Galerie Philine Cremer, Dusseldorf, DE, 2016; Division Gallery, Toronto, 2015; Postmasters Gallery, New York, 2015; Outlet Gallery, Brooklyn, 2015; The Lima Museum of Contemporary Art, Lima, 2014; Mobile World Centre, Barcelona, 2014; Harbor Gallery, New York, 2014; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, 2013; and Phoenix Gallery, New York, 2012. Dorf’s work is included in the Fidelity Investments Collection, the Deutsche Bank Collection, and the permanent collection of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Matt Eich is an independent photographer born and based in Virginia, working on long-form photographic essays about the American Condition. His projects have received numerous grants and recognitions and his prints and books are held in the permanent collections of The Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The New York Public Library, Chrysler Museum of Art and others. Eich studied photojournalism at Ohio University and holds an MFA in Photography from Hartford Art School’s International Limited-Residency Program. His first monograph, Carry Me Ohio (Sturm & Drang, 2016), sold out in a month. He has four forthcoming monographs due out between 2017 and 2020.
A New England native and now living in New York, Frances Jakubek is a visual artist exploring photographic media to understand an ever-changing visual language. She graduated from The New England Institute of Art with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science focused on photography and education.
Jakubek is the past Associate Director and Associate Curator of the Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts and now has joined the team at Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York City. Recent exhibitions include The Southern, contemporary art gallery in Charleston, SC; The Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College, Plates to Pixels Online Gallery; and the Dorchester Art Project. She has been a guest writer for Don’t Take Pictures, Diffusion Magazine and for artist publications. She is a recent panelist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Photography fellowships and juror for exhibitions throughout the US.
Thalassa Raasch is a French-American artist and photographer whose practice explores perceptual boundaries, translation and loss. Her research has included blind photography, traditional gravedigging and closed-eye hallucinations. Her work has been exhibited nationally and published internationally. Recent awards include the SPE Student Award for Innovations in Imaging (2016) and two RISD Graduate Studies Grants (2015, 2016). Raasch holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University (2010) and a Masters in Photography from RISD (2016).
Jared Ragland is a fine art and documentary photographer and former White House photo editor. He currently teaches and coordinates exhibitions and community programs in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is at work on a long-term documentary on methamphetamine users living on Sand Mountain in northeast Alabama. He is the photo editor of National Geographic Books’ The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, has worked on assignment for NGOs in the Balkans, the former Soviet Bloc, East Africa and Haiti, and in 2015 was named one of TIME Magazine’s “Instagram Photographers to Follow in All 50 States.” His photographs have been exhibited internationally and featured by The Oxford American and The New York Times.
Prior to his current work in academia, Ragland spent six years as a photo editor for the Bush (43) and Obama Administrations. During his tenure at the White House, he edited and created photo books for the President, Vice President, Cabinet and First Family, curated and installed photographic exhibitions in the West Wing of the White House and at the Leica Gallery New York, Leica Gallery Berlin, and New York Public Library, and was part of the editing team responsible for the release of the now iconic photographs of President Obama in the Situation Room during the raid on Osama bin Laden.
Ragland is an alumnus of LaGrange College and a 2003 graduate of Tulane University with an MFA in Photography. He resides in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, Justin James Reed’s work and artists’ books have been exhibited widely, including at Higher Pictures (New York), Carroll and Sons (Boston), Atelier Néerlandais (Paris), Unseen Photo Fair (Amsterdam), and Depot II Gallery (Sydney). His work is in numerous collections, notably the Library of Congress, Yale University Art Gallery, The New York Public Library, MoMA Library, Stanford University Libraries, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, and Dartmouth College. Reed is co-publisher at Brooklyn based Horses Think Press and an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts.
Anastasia Samoylova was born and raised in Moscow, received an MA from Russian State University for the Humanities, and an MFA from Bradley University. She served as an assistant professor of photography at Illinois Central College and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Samoylova is currently based in Miami, where she is an artist resident at the Fountahead studios.
By utilizing tools and strategies related to digital media and commercial photography, her work interrogates notions of environmentalism, consumerism and the picturesque. Samoylova’s work participates in the landscape photography tradition while scrutinizing the consumable products it generates. Samoylova has exhibited internationally, including Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston, and Pingyao International Photography Festival in China. Her work is included in the collection at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and ArtSlant Prize collection in Paris. In 2015 she was granted an artist residency at Latitude Chicago. Her work has been featured in the New Yorker and Foam magazine. Her first monograph, Landscape Sublime, was published by the In the In-Between Editions in June 2016.
Bryan Schutmaat is a Texas-based photographer whose work has been widely exhibited and published in the United States and abroad. He has won numerous awards, including the Aperture Portfolio Prize and Center’s Galllerist Choice Awards, among many others. In 2016, Bryan earned an Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship. He was also selected for PDN’s 30 new photographers to watch in 2014. His first monograph, Grays the Mountain Sends, was published by the Silas Finch Foundation in 2013 to international critical acclaim. Bryan’s photos can be found in the permanent collection in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Hood Museum at Dartmouth, and numerous private collections.
After a career as a New York Fashion Editor and working along side the greats of fashion photography, Aline Smithson discovered the family Rolleiflex and never looked back. An artist now represented by galleries in the U.S. and Europe and published throughout the world, Aline continues to create her award-winning photography with humor, compassion, and a 50-year-old camera.
Smithson founded and writes the blogzine, Lenscratch, that celebrates a different contemporary photographer each day and offers opportunity for exhibition. She has been the Gallery Editor for Light Leaks Magazine, a contributing writer for Diffusion, Don’t Take Pictures, Lucida, and F Stop Magazines, has written book reviews for photoeye, and has provided the forwards for artist’s books by Tom Chambers, Flash Forward 12, Robert Rutoed, Nancy Baron, Meg Griffiths amongst others.
Katherine Squier was born with her sister on June 23, 1988 in Austin, Texas where she currently resides when she’s not traveling. She is a freelance photographer working mainly in fashion, but is always documenting her personal life on film. Light plays an important role in her work, as she captures those around her with sensitivity and intimacy. She has had her photos featured in shows around the world.
Susan Worsham grew up in Virginia with childhood field trips to cigarette factories and civil war battlegrounds, and a brown bag lunch in tow. As a young girl Worsham could often be found holding a dixie cup full of Kool-Aid powder, with a few drops of water, making a sweet sugary paste for finger dipping. Her work is heavily influenced by places in the South and the real characters who inhabit them, not the imagined characters by literary greats of the South. Worsham’s photographs have shown internationally as well as across the United States. Most recently at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana and the New York Photo Festival. She is a recipient of The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund as well as the Theresa Pollak Award for Excellence in the Arts.